Troop 1396

Lake Ridge, Virginia

About Scouting

An Orientation to Scouting and Troop 1396

What Is Scouting All About?

Aims of Scouting — Three Specific Objectives

  • Character Development

  • Citizenship

  • Personal Fitness

Our Philosophy... Scouting is an Adventure!

Methods of Scouting


The Ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout Motto, and the Scout Slogan, all of which define what it means to be a good Scout and a good citizen.


The Patrol Method gives Boy Scouts an experience in interacting in small groups which provides opportunities for leadership, teamwork, and competition.

Outdoor Programs

Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors, where their skills are put to the test and developed so that they become more self-reliant.


Through rewards for achievement, the Boy Scouting program teaches important skills and builds self-reliance and self-confidence.

Associations With Adults

Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for all Scouts (and their peer Scout leaders can too).

Personal Growth

Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster, service projects, camping, and leadership opportunities help each Boy Scout in his growth toward Scouting's aims.

Leadership Development

The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.


The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. The uniform signifies Boy Scouting unity while allowing each boy to show his achievement.

Troop Organization

Elements of a Boy-Run Troop

  • Scouts choose their activities during their Annual Planning Conference.

  • The PLC meets each month to plan the meetings for that month.

  • The PLC runs the Troop meeting.

  • Scouts organize themselves during campouts and activities.

CAUTION: Many activities can seem disorganized and could possibly be made more efficient if an adult were doing it. But that misses the point!

The adult leaders' role is to provide guidance for the Scouts

Differences Between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts

  • A Scouts BSA Troop is not structured like a Cub Scout Pack.

  • Cub Scouts is a parent-son experience.

  • Boy Scouts have higher expectations and more responsibility:

    • Planning, packing, setting up camp, cooking, activities

    • Leadership positions

    • The Scout is responsible for the initiation of advancement

    • Parents cannot sign off on requirements -- SM, ASM, JASM, Scouts in the rank of Star & above, and Instructors (for First Class and below) are the only persons in the Troop who can sign off on requirements.

  • Scouts & parents MUST understand this. Do not baby the boys. Let them fail once in a while!

  • Failure sometimes can be the best teacher.

Advancement Process

The Scout Masters a Skill

  • All the requirements are in the Boy Scout Handbook

  • Designated Senior Scouts and Scoutmasters sign-off

  • Parents cannot sign-off

  • Most requirements for 1st Class and below are completed during Campouts

  • Troopmaster Database is the database of record -- the “King”

The Scout is Tested

  • Scout must request a “Scoutmaster Conference” when he believes he is ready to advance

  • A Scout is Tested on the current rank and any previous rank requirements

  • Scoutmaster will work with the Scout, provided he is ready

  • Usually takes at least 1/2 hour

The Scout is Reviewed

  • Scout must request a “Board of Review

  • Three members of the Troop Committee will verify the Scout is making progress and confirm the Scout is qualified to advance

  • Get feedback about the Scout's experiences with the Troop, and encourage further progress

  • Parents need to volunteer for Committee positions and Boards of Review

The parents' role is not to carry the Scout...

The parents' role is to monitor, motivate and support the Scout

Merit Badges

  • Merit Badges are a fun way to learn a new skill or hobby

  • Over 137 topics are available


  • Pay attention to the 12 “Eagle Required Merit Badges

  • Scouts typically earn all the "non-Eagle required" merit badges they need by attending summer camp

  • Merit Badge worksheets are a great way to work a Merit Badge

  • Merit Badge books can be checked out from the Troop Library or purchased from the Scout Store

Parent Responsibilities

Be Encouraging

  • For Tenderfoot, most items are taught by older scouts and Adult leaders. But Scouts can get stuck by not "working on requirements"

  • Your Assignment:

    • Encourage working on the fitness requirement — especially pushups!

    • Help him memorize the Scout Oath, Scout Law

Be Supportive

  • There are some things that the Scout cannot do without help

  • Your Assignment:

    • Select good quality camping gear

    • Help him get to Troop meetings and functions — on time!

    • Encourage and Prepare for Summer Camp

Service Projects

  • Our scouts are encouraged to participate in service projects.

  • The purpose of this is to help others and also build a sense of community.

  • The Troop will participate in various service projects, which include Eagle projects for Scouts in our Troop, as well as District, Council, and community-sponsored events; and projects for our sponsoring church and school.

  • Adults are encouraged to help on all service projects (please remember —Eagle Scout candidates run their Eagle projects, not the adults)

“One influences community by being involved”

Money and Fundraising

  • The troop is operated through a combination of dues and fundraising activities.

  • The primary fundraiser for the Troop is Christmas Tree Sales and supplemented by popcorn sales.

  • Most campouts and troop activities are based on a “pay as you go” fashion.

  • Primary costs for most of the activities are food, campground fees, and activity fees.

Uniform Policy

  • All Scouts and Scouters are encouraged to wear the full Scout uniform. While that might not be possible for all Scouts, the following are the minimum standards:

  • Class-A Shirt (required) — All Scouts are expected to wear the official Boy Scout shirt during meetings and appropriate outings, including while traveling to/from all Scouting activities.

  • Slide and Neckerchief (required) — Scouts may wear the official Scout slide or one that they have made themselves. A Troop 1396 neckerchief will be presented to each Scout when they earn the initial rank of Scout.

  • For a Scoutmaster’s Conferences and Boards of Review for the rank of First Class and above, the Scout must have the full Class-A uniform to include Scout pants and merit badge sash.

  • Class-B T-Shirt — for outdoor activities and summer meetings.

Basic Items Scouts Need

  • Troop T-Shirt, Hat, and Neckerchief — included in startup fee

  • Shoulder Loops — included in startup fee

  • Boy Scout Handbook*

  • Neckerchief Slide

  • World Brotherhood Patch

  • National Capital Area Council Patch

  • Troop Numerals

  • * Boy Scout Handbook needed for Troop meetings and to record advancements


Recommended Equipment

  • 15° rated sleeping bag

  • Sleeping pad, small pillow

  • Canteen or water bottles

  • Sturdy bag for camp stuff (backpack, duffel)

  • Mess kit with cup and fork

  • Flashlight (LED headlamp)

  • Sturdy outdoor activity shoes — hiking boots recommended, and required on certain outings!

  • Camp shoes (no open toes) — such as Crocs or sneakers

  • An extra blanket or sleeping-bag liner for cold weather

  • Scout Handbook

  • Pocket Knife (only after Totin' Chip is earned!!!)

  • Pencil and paper

  • Hat, warm clothes, an extra change of clothes

  • Toiletries (minimal)

  • Meds (including extra glasses, contact stuff)

  • See Troop Website for standard Packing Lists

Camping Policies

  • What is not allowed: electronics in camp, guns, personal hatchets, etc. in accordance with the Guide To Safe Scouting.

  • Food is not allowed in tents — attracts animals.

  • There are specific protocol/permission procedures for using fires, fuel, knives, axes, and saws.

The Troop Provides 4-man tents, trailer, chuck boxes, stoves, fuel, cooking pots and utensils, lanterns, canopies, tables, axes, saws, coolers, food bins...

Adult Leadership


  • The Scoutmaster works for the Committee.

  • The Scoutmaster is the adult leader responsible for the program of the troop.

  • The Scoutmaster works directly with the Scouts.

  • The importance of the Scoutmaster’s job is reflected in the fact that the quality of guidance will affect every youth and adult involved in the Troop.

  • The Scoutmaster is responsible for working with and through other responsible adults (Assistant Scoutmasters — ASMs) to bring Scouting to the boys, helping the boys grow into good Scouts and responsible citizens.

Troop Committee

  • The Troop Committee is a group of parents and adults interested in the Troop's general welfare and operation.

  • The Committee is responsible for seeing that the necessary resources are made available to support the Scouts as necessary. These resources include record-keeping, adult recruiting, boards of review, transportation, and more.

  • Specific Committee positions include:

    • Committee Chair

    • Chartering Organization Representative

    • Treasurer/Secretary

    • Recharter & Membership Coordinator

    • Advancement & Awards Coordinator

    • Merit Badge Coordinator

    • Life-to-Eagle Advisor

    • Quartermaster/Equipment Coordinator

    • Training Coordinator

    • Uniform Bank Coordinator

    • Activities & Transportation Coordinator

    • Medical Records Coordinator

    • Courts of Honor and Family Activities Coordinator

    • Fundraising Coordinator

    • Webmaster

    • We have a job for everyone interested in lending a hand!

Supporting the Troop

  • The boys have nothing to run if there is no parent support — they lack the life experience that we have.

  • They need our help to coach them and guide them — not micro-manage.

  • The troop needs help in many forms — driving to outings, summer camp planning, advancement, etc.

  • Start with adult leader training — it helps you, your son, and the troop.

  • Scouts are more likely to succeed and stay in the program long-term if they have a parent involved!

  • Join the Committee if you do not have the desire or time to be an ASM.

...It takes a lot of adult support to run a successful Troop!

Troop Policies

  • Troop 1396 policy is governed by our Troop By-Laws which are based on Boy Scouts of America policy

  • Safety is the utmost concern for all Boy Scout activities

  • The Scout Oath and Law are the RULES of Scouting and the Troop

  • Zero tolerance for bullying, hazing, harassment, violence, or any other inappropriate conduct

  • Boys who cannot follow the rules will not be disciplined — they will be sent home

Troop Programs

  • Troop Meetings

  • Monthly Activities

    • Camping (full equipment / "car camping")

    • Backpacking (lightweight camping)

    • Hiking, Biking, Paddling Sports, Horseback Riding, Parks/Museums...

  • Camporees / Special District or Council Events

  • Summer Camp

  • High Adventure Camps

  • Courts of Honor

  • Special Events / Activities – E-Jamboree, Haunted Campsite, Christmas Tree Sales, many more

Annual Planning Conference is Key to a Successful Troop Program

Troop Meetings

  • Every Tuesday, 7:30 – 9:00 PM

    • At Lake Ridge Middle School

    • Except for holidays, or some school breaks

    • Summer meetings at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church

    • Before & after meeting instruction for Merit Badges, Scout requirements

  • Uniforms are Class-A's unless specified otherwise

  • Organized and led by PLC

  • Meeting Activities may include:

    • Scouting skills instruction

    • Advancement requirements

    • Merit badge work

    • Preparing for campouts, trips, activities, etc.

    • Games and fun activities

    • Boards of Review